2011 Scion tC Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Scion tC Hatchback

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Scion tC Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 180 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 23/31 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2011 Scion tC

  • The new 2011 Scion tC is a good choice among compact coupes thanks to its roomy interior and generous cargo capacity. Just don't expect it to drive as sporty as it looks.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Comfortable ride; roomy, reclining rear seat; smart iPod interface; well-equipped; easy purchase experience.

  • Cons

    Droning engine and exhaust note with automatic transmission; cheap interior materials; not as sporty as it looks.

  • What's New for 2011

    The Scion tC has been completely redesigned for 2011.

Full 2011 Scion tC Review

What's New for 2011

The Scion tC has been completely redesigned for 2011.

Introduction

When it debuted seven years ago, the Scion tC quickly became a runaway success with America's most youthful drivers. With its hip styling, standout stereo and plenty of customization possibilities, the first tC was a cool car to buy and be seen in. It was to 20-somethings what the Mercury Grand Marquis is to 80-somethings. But as with all cool things, the moment passed, and together with the poor economy hitting young folks especially hard, the tC's popularity has suffered.

That brings us to today, where the fully redesigned 2011 Scion tC is meant to recover the lost mojo. Though it is based on the same platform as the old car, the tC has been improved in a number of key areas. The punchy four-cylinder engine has been swapped out for an even punchier four-cylinder borrowed from the latest Camry and other Toyotas. It produces 19 more horsepower than before and, more important, boasts improved fuel economy whether you opt for the easy-to-row six-speed manual transmission or the new six-speed automatic transmission.

Scion says it has tuned the suspension for improved handling and then replaced the hydraulic power steering with an electric system for improved fuel economy, but neither is successful in transforming the tC into a truly sporty car. Despite its coupe body style, chunky flat-bottomed steering wheel and well-bolstered seats, the tC is very much all show and no go. Mind you, that's OK if you want the look of a sport coupe without the rough ride and general aggressive nature of one.

With that in mind, the latest tC could work out well for a lot of 20-somethings and college students. Its hatchback body style lets you carry bulky items that never fit into a 2011 Honda Civic or 2011 Kia Forte Koup, while the rear seat's reclining backrest and ample legroom give even your gangly friends the room to stretch out. The tC also takes into account the younger generation's proclivity for electronics with a standard audio system designed specifically for an iPod.

In sum, the 2011 Scion tC takes everything that worked for the old car and adds a variety of welcome enhancements. Even so, only time and the youth of America will determine if it's enough to make the tC cool again.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Scion tC is a compact, five-passenger hatchback coupe available in a single trim level. Standard features include 18-inch cast-aluminum wheels, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, a panoramic sunroof, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, reclining and folding 60/40-split rear seats, driver track and seatback angle memory (for rear seat access), and an eight-speaker Pioneer sound system with CD player, auxiliary audio jack, iPod/USB interface and RCA output jacks.

Aside from an automatic transmission, there are no factory options. However, there are a number of notable dealer-installed items, including Bluetooth, a navigation system, satellite radio, a pair of upgraded stereo head units, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, seven-color interior mood lighting, remote ignition, a cargo cover, foglights and a rear spoiler.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Scion tC is powered by a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine good for 180 hp and 173 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is the lone factory option. In performance testing, a tC with a manual transmission went from zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds, while a tC with an automatic did it in 8 flat -- both are quick for the compact coupe and hatchback class. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined regardless of transmission.

Safety

The 2011 Scion tC comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock brakes, front knee airbags, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front headrests. In Edmunds.com brake testing, the tC came to a stop from 60 mph in a respectable 123 feet.

Interior Design and Special Features

Though the tC isn't especially sporty to drive, the interior does its best to indicate otherwise. The flat-bottomed steering wheel is incredibly thick, as if pulled from a racecar. The controls are canted toward the driver and the very comfortable front seats are nicely bolstered. These aspects of the interior might be a bit contrived, but they work well. Unfortunately, the interior is filled with hard, flimsy plastics that seem cheaper than those found in the cabins of the competition. In particular, the center armrest is rock hard.

Yet the tC does have notable advantages. Cargo space is one, as the tC's hatchback design and folding rear seat create a relatively cavernous cargo area that puts other compact coupes to shame. The rear seats also recline and features impressive legroom, meaning even 6-footers can sit back there. Front seat room has also improved for this new-generation tC.

Scion identifies the stereo as a key attribute for young drivers and as such, the tC gets a standard head unit that would easily be an upgrade (or not available at all) in its rivals. Its iPod interface is especially impressive, as a large knob mimics the iPod's ring wheel, controlling volume and exploring the various menu items displayed on the sizable screen. Two additional head units with even larger screens and navigation capability are also available.

Driving Impressions

The 2011 Scion tC can best be described as "urban agile," meaning a car that's responsive and involving enough to keep you entertained when comfortably commuting around town, but not so sporty that you'd really relish driving it enthusiastically on a back road somewhere. The steering doesn't provide much feel, and the stability control has a tendency to kick in frequently during aggressive driving. The Scion tC won't put you to sleep, but you will have more fun in other coupes.

Meanwhile, the 180-hp four-cylinder engine provides good power for the class, especially down low in the rev range. If you're game for shifting your own gears, the six-speed manual is the best choice, as the engine accelerates significantly more quickly and doesn't seem to suffer from the rather agricultural droning that plagues it when the automatic transmission is in place.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Its a "sport-ish" car

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M)

I bought this car used after a leasee returned it to the dealer. My initial impressions of the car were favorable. The seats are supportive and the 6spd is smooth. This achieves exactly what I think Toyota set out to achieve with this car being a "my first sports car" type car. After putting some long highway miles on it there are a number of things that started to creep up on me that wouldn't have been apparent to me in the test drive. The first is the quality of the interior build. The bass from the radio rattles the panels around the window control buttons. I'm not sure I'b a big fan of the vinyl sunroof cover either. The exhaust note may or may not be your thing during a long drive.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Tc for toyota coupe.

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M)

Aggressively styled exterior, although not sure what to make of the dash materials them coming off as a coated plastic, nothing felt cheap nor did I feel slighted in the least. This is a fun point a to point b vehicle with some extra curricular teases. This car was too easy to fall in love with for what it was and hard to hate for not being what would cost another 4-5 thousand green backs out of pocket to get. If you’re looking for sporty DO NOT LOOK HERE. But if you’re looking for a convenient, stylish way to get around without sacrificing efficiency or your pocket book this should be in your considerations. Overall this is a Toyota and its drive, comfort and lives to that name.



9 of 9 people found this review helpful

I own one

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

Can't stand when people review a car that aren't driving it everyday, so I thought I would add a few comments. Don't buy this car if you are looking for a sports car. It's not. Buy this car if you are looking for a much more attractive looking 2-door Corolla with a tiny bit more juice and a lot of extras. For only a couple thousand dollars more than the Corolla, the decision was easy for me. The only reason I gave it a 4 performance wise is that it seems like Toyota markets the car as 'sporty'. Sporty looking/feeling yes, but not a sports car. For commuters, the performance would easily be a 5. Nothing wrong with it.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Decent car for the money

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

Bought TC'11 1 month ago, now have >3,000 miles on it. After having driven RSX for almost 8 years, needed to adjust to TC. TC feels larger and heavier than RSX, steering is lighter. Turns need to be initiated, while RSX turned effortlessly. That said, TC seems to to be quite a decent H-back, even tossable, with plenty of room in the back, and good gas mileage.



6 of 31 people found this review helpful

Tc = terrible choice

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M)

The new Scion tC seems to be the same car in a new wrapper. The 2.5L inline-4 doesn't provide enough power to make this car feel sporty. The huge C-pillars present the driver with large blind spots. The large rear quarter panels also make the car look longer and heavier than it needs to be.



9 of 9 people found this review helpful

Excellent quality, price, & fun

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M)

I purchased this 2011 w/6 manual in magnetic gray with rear spoiler (spoiler made the purchase point for me). After looking at a 2010 & 2011, the interior blew me away for quality, and style for the new 11 vs the 10. The new engine and drive train and hands down better than the 10. Driving the 10' seemed to be like a driving a turd. And the while the 11' is most certainly full of power, it still isn't a SPORTS car. The improved width made comfort hands down top notch, and while I'm 6'1" and a huge dude, i feel comfortable in the back seat, something rare for a two door. The 6 speed manual is smooth, and the gears fall into place naturally, without fumbling.



Talk About The 2011 tC

2011 Scion tC Discussions See all Started By

Claires
Claires
03-22-2011
The Scion tC has been completely redesigned for 2011. Read the review and talk about it!...


troytali
troytali
07-24-2014
put the same ECU and power figures from the tC on the xB. Same engine. They should use the same transmissions, too. Heck, I think if Scion cared, or weren't lazy, they could really make this car sing...


troytali
troytali
07-24-2014
I disagree. I had the 2011, auto trans, and it nearly always had to downshift to pass, climb ANY hill. The 5-speed manual I have now is better, but not by much. Gear ratios WAY too wide. To be fair, o...



Read more about the 2011 Scion tC

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 23
  • cty
/
  • 31
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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